Books I Read in April + May 2019

Books I Read in April and May 2019 | Book Review by Anika May | Nine Perfect Strangers, The Opposite of Always, Emergency Contact, The Flatshare | anikamay.co.uk

Books I Read in April and May 2019 | Book Review by Anika May | Nine Perfect Strangers, The Opposite of Always, Emergency Contact, The Flatshare | anikamay.co.uk

Another book roundup! April wasn’t the best reading month for me, which is why I decided to throw two months together in a mega-review. I definitely struggled for motivation to read in April, which is learned is actually a normal thing. It was a slump! For the first half of the month, I didn’t read anything. I was worried I was losing my love of books and the bookworm aesthetic would die, but sometimes you’re just not feeling it. April didn’t have the best reads for me, which is why I was excited to pick ups something new and exciting in May. 

Books I Read in April and May 2019 | Book Review by Anika May | Nine Perfect Strangers, The Opposite of Always, Emergency Contact, The Flatshare | anikamay.co.uk

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

My rating: One star.

Would I re-read?: No.

This book just wasn’t good. It really wasn’t good. And I’m disappointed in it. Big Little Lies is a favourite of mine and this one just missed the mark completely.

The story is a great idea. Nine strangers go to a luxury retreat with a creepy (and deluded) owner and over the days they spend there, more secrets come to light. It’s a really cool idea actually, but each chapter felt like it was going nowhere. I was just going in circles of boredom and waiting for it to pick up. 

It felt like nothing really happened, rather being a total page-turner. The plot twists were so uneventful and I feel like this could have been elevated into a really interesting mystery.

I definitely wouldn’t read it again, I struggled to get through it in the first place. The character of Frances kept me going, but for the most part, it was pretty dull!

Books I Read in April and May 2019 | Book Review by Anika May | Nine Perfect Strangers, The Opposite of Always, Emergency Contact, The Flatshare | anikamay.co.uk

Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

My rating: Three and a half stars.

Would I re-read?: No.

This was quite a sweet story, and the thing that made me love the book the most was the characters. They were interesting, realistic and entertaining. Jack and Kate’s chemistry and conversations is what made me really enjoy the overall book. Kate in particular is a very cool character. 

I like the idea, and it’s the first time travel YA novel I’ve read. The loop of events is fun to read but does at times get a little repetitive. The story lacks a little in twists and turns which is what you’d expect from something that includes going back in time.

The book definitely had its funny moments, and was a refreshing take on the choices we make and how our decisions affect other people. It explores the moments that make life and relationships special, and remind us how important it is to do whatever we can to look after the people we love.

Books I Read in April and May 2019 | Book Review by Anika May | Nine Perfect Strangers, The Opposite of Always, Emergency Contact, The Flatshare | anikamay.co.uk

Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi

My rating: Four stars.

Would I re-read?: Maybe, but not right now.

I have a lot of feelings about this book. The reason it was a four-star for me were the wonderfully realistic characters who made this story a really nice read. But first, can we talk about the cover? That was the first thing that drew me to the book and I love that I could really picture the characters of Penny and Sam.

Penny Lee is a super relatable character. She’s a pressure cooker of worry and anxiety, carried go bags and is awkward in almost every conversation she has. She has dealt with a crazy amount of drama in her life to be a freshman at UT in Austin, but her she is, reaching out for her goals to be a writer while navigating friendships, family and romance.
Sam is a tortured soul who I just want to hug. From the moment he was introduced I wanted to give him a warm and loving home and a big kitchen where he can bake to his heart’s delight. I loved that he was a passionate creative too.

This romance in this novel wasn’t forced. I really came to admire Mary H.K. Choi as an author because so captured so many elements of young adult life perfectly. There is a variety of personality types in this book, and each one comes with it’s strengths and weaknesses. This is one of those stories that I can look back on, and remember how happy it made me. While I found some bits frustrating, I really enjoyed the digital relationship between Penny and Sam, as well as all the adorableness this story brings.

Books I Read in April and May 2019 | Book Review by Anika May | Nine Perfect Strangers, The Opposite of Always, Emergency Contact, The Flatshare | anikamay.co.uk

The Flateshare by Beth O’Leary

My rating: Five stars.

Would I re-read?: Yes.

Easily my favourite read of the two months. This book was just all kinds of loveliness! It made me smile like an idiot, laugh hysterically and even cry. A beautiful, beautiful story. 

The characters are brilliantly written in The Flatshare. Tiffy is a six-foot, PR queen with fiery red hair and plenty of personality. It’s the first novel I’ve read with a female character described as being extraordinarily tall, so shout out to my fellow tall girls who appreciated this. Leon is a sweetheart, a caring palliative nurse, and a man afraid of change. 

In the beginning of the book, I found Leon to be quite closed off. He spoke in short sentences, didn’t have much feeling in his words, and was relatively quiet at work. Tiffy is very much like me, she fills silences with words and tries her hardest to make the best of a bad situation. These two strangers decide to share a BED. Not just a flat, but a bed. 

One thing I like about this story is how they had their personal battles, and it wasn’t just about falling in love. The multiple stories were intertwined and kept it interesting. 

Tiffy faced the reality of leaving an emotionally abusive relationship, and slowly came to realise how much better she is without her obsessive ex. Beth O’Leary captured this perfectly. I’ve never been in that situation myself, but you really understood Tiffy’s mindset and how she was continually manipulated. It showed you that even though emotional, abuse is abuse. She really grew and developed as a character, and although still had her triggers and setbacks, she continued to strive for better. Leon’s little brother is wrongly imprisoned with a lazy lawyer and no one to talk to. He’s also dealing with his lonely mother who’s a bit of a serial dater. He’s in a dead relationship and in need of money. On top of that, both of them have to handle clients at work who take up a lot of their time. 

Although their lives are stressful and weeks seem to pass like clockwork, you still get an element of positivity from them both. Leon has this inspiring sense of hope and belief in his brother, he’s a dedicated man. Tiffy regularly deals with creepy Martin and other irritations, but still rocks her unique style and charm with a smile. 

During this book, I just wanted both of them to have a break. To get away from boring or crazy exes and meet someone who not only understands them, but appreciates them. Then they found each other. 

The romance in The Flatshare is gentle and sweet. It isn’t rushed, has the perfect cliches and is skilfully written. This is easily one of the best feel-good reads of 2019, it was a breeze and so enjoyable. I loved following the story from two perspectives. It was empowering seeing Tiffy move away from a damaging life with Justin, and heartwarming to watch Leon open up as a person when he started talking to Tiffy. 

Everything about this book was perfect. The way they communicate, the hilarious secondary characters, the quirky plot and the glorious ending. I loved it!

Books I Read in April and May 2019 | Book Review by Anika May | Nine Perfect Strangers, The Opposite of Always, Emergency Contact, The Flatshare | anikamay.co.uk

Have you read any books in May?

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